Indo-Russian trade to touch $10 bn by '10

Written by Economy Bureau | Kolkata | Updated: Feb 15 2009, 06:20am hrs
Russia has expressed willingness to strenghten its trade with India in sectors like banking, IT, telecom, tourism and space, and, in the process, double the trade volume to $10 billion by 2010 from the present $5 billion.

Russian consul general Vladimir V Lazarev, who was present in a meet organised by the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce in the city on Saturday, said: "An annual trade turnover still stands at a little more than $5 billion, which is far below the potential of both Russian and Indian economies." Today, about 60% of Russia's export to India is ferrous and non-ferrous metals, fertilizers, raw materials and newsprint. On the other hand, the country imports tea, coffee, tobacco, spices, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, textiles, leather and plastic goods from India.

Russia is also interested in collaborating with India in sectors like hydrocarbon, natural gas and coking coal, Lazarev added. "Today, both the countries have to cooperate with each other under conditions of acute competition on the global market for goods and services. Russian companies in India and Indian companies in Russia have to fight to participate in public tenders and compete with major global producers," Lazarev said at the meet.

About boosting bilateral trade between the two nations, Lazarev feels "the private sector in both the countries have been slow to take advantage of the huge expansion which is taking place in Indian and Russian economies. Therefore, the focus should be on improving visa regimes, removing cargo problems and strengthening market information networks so that private players could step up their activities."